Best “Not First Round” Defensive Prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Well kids it is that time of year again, NFL Draft day is coming up fast. Where most of the pundits go over the top ten and maybe into the entire first round over and over and over again I do not.  Not that I’m a pundit, but it sounded good.

Ask any ten Packer fans and you will get a majority saying Inside Linebacker is the #1 need for the 2015 Packers.  I think CB is now the number one need with the loss of Williams and House and talk that Matthews will again play some ILB.

With Peppers at the ripe old age of 35 and both Perry and Neal in there final years of their contracts does Outside Linebacker move up into the need area?  I think it does, and with the Depth of edge rushers in the 2015 draft, I think we could see a OLB picked early.

I like digging into the day three draft prospects and those undrafted free agents that might be from smaller schools and other divisions of college football that have the skills to do something in the NFL.

Cornerbacks are fairly deep in the draft. Safety is not. Depending on your defensive system there are CB’s that fit all needs. Here’s a few that I like.

Darryl Roberts 5-11 187# Marshall. Roberts checks all the boxes for the Cornerback position, Speed 4.38 40 time, Quickness 1.48 ten year, Agility with a 4.06 short shuttle and 6.66       3 cone drill, 39” vert and a impressive 23 reps @ 225# at 5-11 187

Craig Mager 5-11 201# Texas State, Another prospect with good speed and quickness with a 4.44 40 and a 1.53 ten yard, he has great change of direction and strength. He can climb the latter as they say and high point passes. Very good tackler. Leaping ability with a 38” vert and strength with 17 reps @ 225#. Pretty good punt returner also.


Here’s a couple of Linebackers that I like for the Packers:

I will start with two OLB’s that I think can play both ILB and OLB in the Packers scheme and IMO would be better 3-4 ILB’s then the majority of the ILB’s in the draft this year.

Now both of these players will be drafted, the question is when? Looking at different rankings most have them both ranked as day 3 picks.

Jake Ryan OLB/ILB Michigan,  the size I like for a 3-4 ILB at 6-2 240# good speed and quickness with a 4.65 40 time and a 1.62 ten yard. He eats and sleeps football with great instincts and high motor. Started at both OLB and ILB at Michigan


Here’s a smaller school prospect that comes from North Dakota State. Kyle Emanuel 6-3 254# 4.77 40 time with a 1.69 ten yard, good agility and shows explosion with a 34” vert and 10’ long jump, good strength with 27 reps.  Not a lot of video on him but found some of your viewing pleasure, watch his feet and change of direction, good hand use also.  More OLB then ILB now, but his movement skills work at both.  Played DE in college but will have to make the move to Linebacker in the NFL.


I think that the Safety depth needs to be upgraded. Hyde would be the first to move and that would hurt the defense. And I would not like to see either Banjo or Richardson having to start. I like Safeties that are better then average athletes, and have some size to them with good agility.

Justin Haley FS Florida International 6-2 198# 4.54 40 time, 1.59 ten yard. 37.5” vert, good agility with a 4.39 short shuttle and a 6.81 3 cone drill needs to get stronger with only 9 reps at 225# Smooth athlete, very good change of direction. Might be able to play CB but I like him at FS.

Another late round pick or UDFA, Akeem King.  He is currently a SS, but he was a convert from WR. He might have the athletic ability to play Corner, at 6’-1.5” he ran a 4.41 40, 37.5 vert, and for his size a quite good  4.38 short shuttle and 7.08 3 cone, with 20 reps @225#.  Watch his video, he has closing speed and very fluid change of direction. Pretty good on special teams too.



You want small school I’ll give you small school,  Caushaud Lyons DE Tusculum 6-4 290#  { I had to look up Tusculum} It is actually the oldest college in Tennessee.  What is amazing about this prospect is how good an athlete he is.  4.86 40 time 1.71 ten yard. To go with that a 4.55 short shuttle and a 7.51 3 cone drill, 30.5” vert and a 10’ standing long jump with 24 reps @225#.  Developmental without a doubt, but he would make a damn fine 3-4 DE.

Here’s another small school DE/NT, Kristjan Sokoli 6-5 290# Buffalo. Another big time athlete, 4.86 40 time, 1.55 ten yard,  4.36 short shuttle and a 7.35 3 cone drill, 38” vert and 31 reps @225#. I like this prospect a lot, Old World Work Ethic.



Last but not least, Deon Simon Northwestern State, 6-4 321# NT/DT/DE,  5.12 40 time, 1.77  ten yard, STRONG 35 reps @225#, 29.5” vert, good agility for a big man 4.75 short shuttle 7.92 3 cone drill.  Moves pretty well for a big man.   Sorry no play video, but combine work out.


Don “Yoop” Christensen is an annual contributor to around draft time. He delights in finding potential sleepers in the draft.

14 thoughts on “Best “Not First Round” Defensive Prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft

  1. Yes! Great article, Don. Despite all of the hype about the “first tier” CBs (such as, Peters, Collins, Johnson, Williams, etc.), I’ve always thought that Mager and Roberts would be better fits for our secondary. Assuming that we don’t select in rounds 1 or 2 Eric Rowe, whose versatility as both a safety and CB is intriguing, I would recommend taking both Mager and Roberts in the 4th and 5th rounds, respectively.

    1. PJ Willams seems to be dropping like a stone in the pre-draft rankings and could end up a steal.

      I like Rowe if the Packers move down to early-mid round 2, but I’ve read reports that say he’s either a zone CB or a FS and may struggle as a man CB. I like Mager as well and would like to see him in GB.

  2. Unless a good prospect makes a precipitous slide (PJ Williams, Denzel Perryman) and presents value that’s just too good to pass up, I have a feeling we’re going to see the Packers wait until day 3 to address ILB and CB, and that they’ll use day 1 and 2 to shore up the DL, OLB and add an offensive playmaker.

    1. Yep, that would be smart. Drafting from where the talent pool is the deepest.

      Last year TT said no to the option year on former #1 pick D Sherrod and later cut him.

      This year he says no to to the option year on former #1 pick N Perry.

      Next year he says no to to the option year on former #1 pick D Jones.

      What the hell is going on out there? I thought TT was great drafter. 2 hits in 10 years. Better than 0 for 10 I guess. But you expect at least 5 for 10 from R1 picks.

      1. Sherrod never got over the injury, Perry and Jones have been decent players so far but not worth 7 million a year. TT doesn’t overpay (maybe he did on Sam Shields) and lots of players don’t get their options picked up, doesn’t mean they were terrible draft picks, just not worth huge raises.
        OLB is not a need, neither is DL. I doubt we would draft either position before the 5-6th round unless TT is enamored with someone.

  3. Let’s say draft unfolds less predictably than most think. What could Packer fans reasonably wish for were fate to smile kindly on them?

    W/o getting super greedy, I’d say DL Malcom Brown. As a 3-4 DE/NT and inside rush guy, this guy would be a stud for years to come. And we all know how much TT loves himself some big people in R1. God only made so many dancing bears ya know.

  4. I think Richardson is a fine Safety and the Packers obviously do as well. He has good size and speed and plays well in the box. Banjo is a high motor guy who contributes on ST and will also continue to develop. S is one of the positions that needs the least help.

    1. Thought the same thing. We already have 4 safety’s guaranteed roster spots next year (counting Hyde). Maybe we take a late round safety to upgrade over Banjo, but by no means is this a need. Richardson played the dime last year and we just picked up his option. Right now we have 2 decent starters at S and the luxury of a highly paid back up. Any safety drafted before the 3rd round would have to be thought of really highly by TT and a long-term contributor…. since a back up S wouldn’t play much this year.

    2. Agree on Banjo. He won’t kill you and is a good back up. I have no idea why anyone thinks Richardson can even play safety. I can’t find any evidence that he can cover anyone. He is very good on STs. If someone got hurt, I’d certainly play Banjo over Richardson. In fact, starting Richardson wouldn’t even cross my mind.

      1. Huh?! So GB signed him for ST only? No way. He was signed as a safety by TT and he plays well in the box against the run. Prior to his injury everyone was pretty excited about him. GB would have let him go to the Raiders if they felt otherwise. The safety position will be fine. I politely disagree with you about Richardson, as did his pre-draft analysis did when he came out:

        1. I am happy to agree to disagree about Richardson. Yes, you have a clear understanding of my opinion. I do not think the link you provided disagrees with my analysis; rather, I think it supports my evaluation of Richardson. does suggest Sean could play the box early in his career, true, but conventional wisdom is that in GB safeties have to be largely interchangeable. That means Sean has to be able to cover. The scouting report states Sean has “serious issues in man coverage” and “struggled when put in zone.”

          Your point about the Raiders and GB matching is a good one though. I figured it meant that GB felt Sean was a ST’s ace and thus worth about $1.5 to $2 million, so it wasn’t a giant stretch to pay $2.55 million, but maybe you are correct and the GB coaches feel his coverage skills have improved and he can play if Burnett gets hurt or in certain schemes. I hope Sean Richardson proves me wrong and you right! Go Pack!

  5. Thanks for this article. I’ll keep an eye out for these players. I have to mention that Darryl Roberts sounds like a physical marvel with good height and weight as well. If you removed the names and just presented GMs with the measurables, Roberts is a 1st round pick, maybe the top CB taken. I’ll go watch his tape since I never heard of Roberts.

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